London Property Magazine
We hear about the people who live there and why it’s so popular with those ‘in the know’. Natasha Higgins visits the area, climbs the hill and gives us her view.
At 256 ft above sea level, a panoramic view of London awaits. Across the skyline, celebrated landmarks such as the London Eye, The Shard and The Gherkin can be seen. The short up-hill walk to the summit of Primrose Hill is definitely worth it.
As any Londoner will tell you, neighbourhoods don’t come more fashionable than NW3. Primrose Hill, named after a meadow where Primrose flowers grew, is home to some of the world’s best known actors, supermodels and fashion designers. Fancier than Camden yet edgier than St John’s Wood, the hill lies somewhere between the two and adjacent to Regent’s Park.
Edward Prickett, Associate Director at John D Wood & Co says Primrose Hill became really fashionable at the beginning of the 21st Century, “but it’s always been popular with people ‘in the know’”.NWC_area_1210_B
Formerly used as hunting grounds by Henry VIII, Primrose Hill was owned by Eton College until the 1990s and turned into a public park in 1842.
As for cafes, restaurants and entertainment, the area has plenty to offer. It’s main strip lies along Regent’s Park Road where quirky shops, breakfast haunts such as Cafe Seventy Nine which serves delicious vegetarian food, Anthony’s Delicatessen, and Russian restaurant Trojka, line the pavements creating a relaxed social vibe.
“The Mary Portas Living & Giving shop on Regent’s Park Road is great,” says Simon Halliday, Sales Manager at Sandfords. “The shopping street on Regent’s Park Road is a true gem because of all the different types of shops: a shoe shop, a handmade underwear shop, a bookshop and a wonderful selection of what I would call curiosity shops, one off shops and health food shops.
As expected, prospective buyers in the area tend to be “cool people” states Halliday. “Come and visit for brunch on a sunny midweek morning and you will find out who lives here. Or ask the paparazzi who stalk them on their motor scooters. Halliday is of course referring to the likes of actors Jude Law, Rhys Ifans and Ewan McGregor who live here and form part of Primrose Hill’s ‘set’.
Here Prickett gives a few pointers for best streets and squares in the area: “Proper Primrose Hill Village is the semi circular selection of roads within Regent’s Park Road and Gloucester Avenue – the most sought after are Chalcot Crescent, Rothwell Street, Chalcot Square and Regent’s Park Road itself.
Halliday believes the area only has solely desirable streets and that your budget defines where you live: “Chalcot Square has the prestige but now Regent’s Park Road has the proportions and scale. St Georges Terrace has the views or if you want quaint, then Chalcot Cresent, Rothwell Street and Chamberlain Street are your best bet .” He adds that there is something for all tastes and styles and in recent years, ultra modern properties with control panels, disappearing swimming pools, garages with lifts, perspex lap pools, modular bedrooms – all clean, white and clinical – have set the trend.
Architecturally the area is dominated by Georgian and both early and late Victorian terraced houses and the average price depends on location. “In Chalcot Square we have recently agreed a triplex for £1,750 per square foot. Houses in the village tend to go for between £1,100 and £1,400 per square foot and flats generally between £900 and £1,200,” says Prickett.
Up and coming areas nearby? “I still rate parts of Primrose Village such as Ainger Road and Oppidans Road as they are less expensive and offer good width – they are semi detached properties rather than Victorian Terraced. Specific properties such as Darwin Court and Hill View are surprisingly cheap compared to period property in the same location”.
Although Primrose Hill itself no longer has ‘up and coming’ pockets, Halliday deems Albert Street, Delancy street, Kentish Town, South End Green and parts of Belsize Park as being good value for money.
It is easy to see why this quaint village in the centre of London appeals to so many and will remain so for years to come. Here, Paul Brooke, Director at Olivers Town, concludes by giving us a poetical account of this central London gem:
“Primrose Hill, above all, speaks of wind and trees; of dogs and their masters and mistresses; of summer violins, cellos and oboes coming from the wandering musicians that inhabit Regents Park Road. Of picnics and quarrels. Of playing children and dramatic views. The streets speak of fashion; of rosemary bread and cake shops. The well healed continuing their battle between left and right and Freud vs Jung. The streets, timeless and permanent, but no particular one is more desirable than another. After all, Primrose Hill – Chalcot Square overlooking the gardens; St Mark’s Square backing onto Regent’s Canal ; St Georges Terrace; Chalcot Crescent – is a perfectly formed village, complete with village green; the hill itself”.